NASA plans to fly a helicopter on Mars Video

Уфологи обнаружили на Марсе мертвого пришельца принесенного в жертву

That will change in 2020 once NASA sends an autonomous flying "rotorcraft" to Mars to go exploring where no rover can check out on foot (or on wheels), which is naturally named the Mars Helicopter.

The craft weighs in at little under four pounds, and its fuselage is about the size of a softball.

Because Mars' atmospheric density is only 1 percent of Earth's, NASA says the drone's twin, counter-rotating blades would have to turn at almost 3,000 rpm - about 10 times the rate of a helicopter on Earth.

It will also feature numerous built-in capabilities such as solar cells for charging the batteries and a heater.

After the rover lands, it will place the helicopter on the ground and retreat to a safe distance.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine described the prospect of a helicopter flying the skies of another planet as "thrilling", while Zurbuchen compared the mission to the Wright brothers pioneering flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in 1903. "The Mars Helicopter holds much promise for our future science, discovery, and exploration missions to Mars".

The "marscopter" will be one of the components of the Mars survey mission scheduled to blast off in July 2020, the U.S. space agency announced on Friday. It will be attached to the belly pan of the Mars 2020 rover and placed on the surface upon finding a suitable site after the rover's February 2021 landing.

More news: Chinese Premier Calls for New Progress of China-Japan Ties

"I am not an advocate for the helicopter and I don't believe the Mars 2020 project has been an advocate for the helicopter", he added.

The Mars Helicopter is billed by NASA as a "technology demonstration" to prove that such aerial vehicles can be flown above the surface of other worlds, showing that they can be deployed as "low-flying scouts". Because Mars is far away from Earth, with radio signals taking at least 20 minutes to cross interplanetary space, the Mars Helicopter will fly autonomously and not via a human operated joy stick as drones on Earth are controlled.

The remote-controlled Mars Helicopter is created to take flight in the thin Martian atmosphere with twin counter-rotating blades.

Nasa plans for a 30-day flight test period that will include up to five flights, starting with a short vertical jaunt to hover for about 30 seconds at an altitude of 10ft (3m).

The helicopter will have a relatively short mission, about 30 days in total.

Due to the atmospheric difference between Earth and Mars, the helicopter will be the equivalent of 100,000 feet in the air at home when it is on the ground on Mars.

"We already have great views of Mars from the surface as well as from orbit.With the added dimension of a bird's-eye view from a 'marscopter, ' we can only imagine what future missions will achieve".

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